I have been speaking about this for years. And I will continue to talk about it, shout about it, because it’s incredibly important.
Don’t give us your shit.
I mean it. Other charities don’t say it so rudely, they never say it at all because they’re too afraid of losing donors. I don’t care, to be honest. If you’re giving us rubbish, losing your donations is no loss at all.
What we need, what every charity needs, is for you to acknowledge that our job is to serve humans. Other humans. Humans who have need of our services for countless reasons. By dint of circumstance in life, they need YOU. As all of us need our fellow human beings in times of need.
And so, when you are getting rid of old tat, what you’re saying is: I don’t really care who’s getting this, as long as I don’t have to deal with it anymore. I understand that impulse, but on the other end of that, is another human who needs whatever it is you may have, and what they feel when they get old tat is not something any of us ever want to feel. They feel more worthless than they already do, they feel unseen, and they feel like nobody cares about them.
In my line of work, what I see very clearly is that stuff that isn’t very nice and isn’t clean compounds the damage already done to them through domestic and family violence. You may think – for example – with the clothes you’re passing on to us that they’re clean, you washed them a few months ago when you put them away, after all. They’re in good condition so why aren’t they acceptable?
Because when things are stored for any period of time, they get that musty smell to them. Now, we get bags and bags of clothes every week. I don’t have time to wash any of it. And the person who picks them up doesn’t have time to check it. So I trust, and our pick up person trusts, that you’re doing what you’ve been asked to do. That you’ve paid attention, that you care about the women these clothes/towels/bedding is going to.
Our motto at The Aunties is “Give with love”. This isn’t random. It’s entirely deliberate, and the way I’ve been operating since Day One back in early 2013. I don’t intend for that to change any time soon, which is why I keep this whole gig fairly small and am extremely hands on with the donations.
Because I sit with women, several women, every week, when they come to the storage unit to get what they need. They expect the best, because I make it very clear that that’s what they deserve. Your cooperation in this means everything to them.
Thank you. For everything.